Joking Apart by Alan Ayckbourn at The Union Theatre

After the success of ‘Confusions’ (2009) and ‘Absent Friends’ (2010) here at The Union, Ben De Wynter was given some suggestions from Alan Ayckbourn for the next staging.  The intimacy of The Union lends itself well to the intricacies and subtleties of Ayckbourns writing.  Therefore, Joking Apart was decided upon.

Written in 1978, Joking Apart is packed taut with maliciously funny observations of human foibles, teasing and toying with the audience.  Gently nudging the mood from languor to frenzy and back again as relationships are imperceptibly intertwined.

Played out in a back garden over a 12-year period, a near-perfect couple play host to a smug Scandinavian couple, a hesitant hungry Vicar, a neglected girlfriend, an aging lothario and a neurotic housewife.  Ayckbourn at his best.

Ben De Wynter has put together a strong cast of comedic actors. Including, Jamie Kenna (Communicating Doors and Life of Riley Stephen Joseph Theatre), Andrew Obeney (Comedians, On the Piste & Blue Remembered Hills at The Union, Sound of Music BAC), Charlotte Moore (Boeing, Boeing! Comedy Theatre), Claire Marlowe (U.K. Tours of Gaslight, Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre, Confusions Union Theatre),

“A guaranteed Laugh” Scarborough Evening News

“Ben De Wynter’s production reminds us that there are few better analysts of everyday unhappiness than Alan Ayckbourn”.  The Evening Standard on Confusions.

“De Wynter’s intelligent direction perfectly suits Ayckbourn’s subtlety” London Magazine on Absent Friends.

“This is a darkly funny play that, despite being set forty-odd years ago, should perhaps come with a warning sign for any recently married couples who have moved to the suburbs – some of the contents may be a bit too close for comfort!” Indie London on Absent Friends.


Directed by Union Associate Director Ben De Wynter
Designed by Holly Best
Lighting Design by Steve Miller
Produced by Regan De Wynter Productions
By kind Arrangement with Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd

For more info:

Bedroom Farce at Duke of York’s from 24 March 2010

 Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce which is directed by Peter Hall transfers to the West End’s Duke of York’s theatre from 24 March 2010 until 10 July 2010.

Four couples, three bedrooms, two celebrations, one blazing row and an illicit kiss (or two). Alan Ayckbourn’s ingenious comedy shines a brilliant spotlight onto the trials and tribulations of suburban marriage.

Trevor and Susannah have a problem relationship which requires urgent attention. What better solution than to talk it over with family and friends? Preferably in their respective bedrooms and ideally in the middle of the night. Inevitably,one problem relationship tends to spark off another.

When you have friends like Trevor and Susannah, nobody gets much sleep.

Cast: Jenny Seagrove, Daniel Betts, Sara Crowe, Tony Gardner, David Horovitch, Rachel Pickup, Orlando Seale, Finty Williams

Book Tickets for Bedroom Farce at Duke of York’s Theatre!